Friday, April 26, 2013

Citation: Five and Six-Year-Old Season

  After a one year break from racing, Citation returned to the racetrack in 1950 to win a six furlong(1320 yards) race at Santa Anita. In his next race, he met his rival, Noor. In every race the two entered, world records were broken and the two vied against each other to come out victorious. One of the greatest rivalries in racing history had begun.

 In the Golden Gate Mile, Citation defeated Noor, setting a new world record of 1:33 3/5, a record that stood until 1966. However,  Noor, who was carrying 110 pounds, ran the Santa Anita Handicap in world record time, defeating Citation, who carried 132 pounds. He once again defeated Citation in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap, running a 2:52 4/5 two and three-quarters mile, a record that still stands today. Citation raced him two more times that season in the Forty-Niners Handicap and the Golden Gate Handicap. Both times he lost to Noor, who ran the tracks in world record time.  It seemed as if Big Cy was becoming a forgotten has-been.

 By the end of the season, Citation had won two races, place second to Noor six times, and second to Roman Inn once.

 If that season was bad, then his next season was worse by far. Warren Wright's(owner) dying wish had been that Citation would become the first millionaire equine, so he would not be retired before Wright's dream came true.

  Citation came third in his next two races, then ran out of money for the first time in his career after losing the Hollywood Premiere Handicap. His prospect of failing seemed further emphasized when he lost the Argonaut Handicap. However, just when things were beginning to look impossible, everyone's hopes were buoyed by Citation's successful runs in the Century Handicap and the American Handicap. Suddenly, things didn't seem so impossible.

Citation, the great racehorse(photo credit).
 In his next race, the final of his career, Citation raced against Bewitch, the first horse to hand him defeat, in the Hollywood Gold Cup. He won, becoming the first equine millionaire, and Bewitch earned $462,605, more than any other mare.

 Afterwards, Citation, along with Coaltown and Bewitch, retired to Calumet farms. Not only was Citation a Triple Crown winner, Horse of the Year, and the richest equine, but he also had the honor of being the first equine to be painted by Richard Reeves. He sired Preakness winner Fabius and champion filly Silver Spoon, to name a few. Then, on August 8, 1970, Citation, the great champion, passed away. He was buried next to his sire and dam, Bull Lea and  Hydroplane II.


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